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According to evidence-based research, the ability to make considered decisions with emotional control continues to develop in the adolescent brain until the age of 25. Therefore, youth aged 16 to 24 can still be vulnerable. As youth transition from adolescence to adulthood, they have many decisions to make. These include aspirations in education/vocation, employment, living situations, friendships and relationships. For those who have mental health and/or addiction challenges, coordinated services, support and engagement are required to facilitate their transition in accessing services, as well as, connections to community supports. Only 1 in 5 youth who are in need of mental health services actually receive care.1
1Improving Quality of Care and Patient Safety for Transitional Youth and Young Adults, submitted to the Champlain LHIN, 2010.
Funded by the South East Local Health Integration Network (South East LHIN), Youthab is implementing the TAY program through a Transitional Connector to assist youth aged 16 to 24, who have mental health and/or addiction issues. Whether youth require services and do not know where to go or are transitioning from one agency to another to continue service, the Transitional Connector prepares, supports and empowers youth by connecting them to appropriate ongoing services.
The Transitional Connector coordinates transitions and services for mental health and addictions, education, employment, living situation, and daily functioning to improve the emotional well-being of youth.
How to Connect with Youth:
The following are some tips to enhance a counsellor's comfort level when relating to and working with youth.
- Body language
- Respectful language
- Eye contact
- Make it relevant. What’s the point? What’s in it for them?
- Make them feel comfortable
- Obtain their feedback
- Be creative – learning can be visual, auditory, or movement based
- Instill hope – walk through it with them
- Allow their parents, caregivers and/or youth worker to attend the first few appointments with them
- Text to reach youth
- Social media
- Office environment – inspirational, posters, lounge